Las Vegas has, for at least the past decade, been a center of innovation for the U.S. lodging industry. But on an international scale, European and Asian properties have offered a level of technology that we at HT continue to only write about, until now. With the debut of CityCenter, a joint venture between MGM Mirage and Dubai World, opening in Las Vegas late next year, the U.S. is setting a new benchmark for luxury-meets-technology in the lodging industry, and I, for one, plan on testing it out as soon as possible.
The $9 billion project will offer a level of guest room technology currently only found in very high-end custom homes. CityCenter will feature ARIA, a 61-story, 4,000-room gaming resort, and three luxury non-gaming hotels including Las Vegas' first Mandarin Oriental, The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences and Vdara Condo Hotel.
Here's a snapshot of what guests can expect in their guestrooms: First, traditional keycards are replaced with keyless locks using RFID technology. Upon entering, the room will recognize a first-time visitor and automatically part the curtains to show off the view while raising the lights and powering-up the television. Room preferences can be customized via the 42-inch LCD HDTV and will be remembered for future stays. Each nightstand also will feature a seven-inch panel with touch-screen technology that navigates the same room settings as the TV remote. The wake-up experience incorporates controlled settings that adjust the temperature and music, while opening the curtains to wake guests gently. Likewise, pressing a single button will ready the room for bedtime, turning off lights, TV, etc.
All in-room devices are on the hotel's network, which delivers one gigabit of bandwidth to each guest room and enables the property to communicate with the room to perform maintenance or special requests; such as what will be my first request: quite simply, do not disturb.